Free Exhibit Resources

Exhibit Resources from POW!

The Great Big Exhibit Resource List

A constantly updated compendium of resources for museum design and exhibit fabrication (including websites and contact information.)
>> view resource

Donor Recognition Examples

This is a PDF of examples of Donor Walls and other recognition devices in museums that were featured in an ExhibiTricks blog post. It's a BIG file so be patient as it loads.
>> view resource

Cheap Exhibit Ideas from the ASTC Exhibit Cheapbooks

Here are a few examples of the types of simple, inexpensive exhibit ideas to be found in each of the three volumes of The Exhibit Cheapbooks which I originated and edited.
>> view resource

POW! in The New York Times

A nice review of a children's interactive art exhibition I created for the Nassau County Museum of Art.
>> view resource

Downloadable Exhibit Articles by Paul Orselli

"Producing Great Exhibits on a (Not So Great) Budget"

My article from the January/February 2014 issue of ASTC's Dimensions magazine. Some simple, inexpensive ways to add to your exhibits program.
>> download the PDF now

"Green Design Nuts and Bolts"

An article jam-packed with resources and techniques to help you expand your green exhibit design toolkit.
>> download the PDF now

"Million Dollar Pencils and Duct Tape: Some Thoughts on Prototyping"

Concrete examples and tips about how to move through each phase of the exhibit prototyping process.
>> download the PDF now

"Good Things Come In Small Packages" (Small Museums Article)

Lessons learned from a quarter century of working with a variety of different types and sizes of museums.
>> download the PDF now

ExhibiTricks blog

  • Customer Service 101 from the Disney Institute

    What does customer service have to do with exhibitions?


    Even if your museum has the world's greatest exhibits, if visitors' interactions with staff are lacking, you will create unhappy and dissatisfied customers.  Here are some comments from a colleague's less than stellar experience from a recent family visit: "I was actually quite underwhelmed by the new museum. A lot of broken stuff: broken keyboards in Maker Space. Piece #9 missing in catenary arch. Floor staff talking to each other, looking at phones. Hey folks, hate to bother you but got a spare #9 in the back?"

    OUCH!  My friend and her family couldn't use an exhibit because a piece had gone astray, and she felt like the floor staff didn't even care.  Interacting with museum visitors is a tough job that requires dedication and training to do well.  But many, if not most, museums don't have the staff or resources to provide high-level, consistent training in interacting with museum guests.

    Fortunately, I've found that the Disney Institute (the part of Disney's empire that offers professional, business, and customer service training) provides a wealth of free online information with great tips about providing exceptional and memorable customer interactions.

    A recent article from the Disney Institute mentions a number of their foundational principles regarding customer service, but one of my favorites that can be applied to museum (and exhibit design!) work is "purpose trumps task."

    Disney helps their employees recognize that it is ok to be "off-task" if you are "on-purpose."  If you and your employees can anticipate the needs of your customers, you can far exceed their expectations.

    A recent example from my own exhibit design work involved making an interactive for a small museum that seemed really anxious about the maintenance needs for a digital tablet component. During our conversations, I offered a low-tech alternative that both the museum client and project designer liked better, and that was less expensive on the front-end to produce, and less expensive on the back-end due to minimized maintenance and replacement costs.  I purposely listened to the museum client's needs and offered a collaborative suggestion that recognized their concerns, instead of merely completing a task that everyone had initially agreed to before I was brought into the job.

    (Another fun example of being on-purpose is the story of "Captain Pizza" an airline pilot who ordered pizza for an entire plane delayed on the tarmac.)

    There are many other actionable Disney Institute gems like "Listen Beyond the Obvious" and "Why Satisfaction is Dangerous" that can easily carry over to museum/exhibit/design work.

    So click on over to the Disney Institute website to find some customer service tips that you and your staff can put into action.

    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.  And if you want to create amazing exhibit experiences that lead to increased customer satisfaction at your museum contact Paul Orselli and POW! today.

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